WeChat will launch a consumer credit product called ‘WeChat Fenqi (Installment)’. Currently, the product is in a small-scale gray-box testing phase and is expected to expand its user testing scope in the second half of the year. However, the official launch date is uncertain.
It is worth mentioning that WeChat currently has a self-operated consumer finance product called ‘WeChat Fenfu’. It focuses on no interest-free period and charges on a daily basis. Currently, it is also in the testing phase, but many users have already obtained testing qualifications.
In simple terms, when users make payments using ‘WeChat Fenfu’, they can choose to make an upfront payment (only applicable in certain consumption scenarios), extend the payment period within the billing cycle, or opt for installment payments. The minimum repayment amount per installment is 10% of the bill, and any remaining unpaid balance will continue to accrue daily interest.
According to information obtained from WeChat customer service, currently ‘WeChat Fenqi’ is in the small-scale testing phase. Users who have qualified for the test will see the ‘Fenqi (Installment)’ entrance in the ‘Wallet’ section.
WeChat customer service also reminds that currently there is no such thing as a paid activation for ‘WeChat Fenqi’ and ‘WeChat Fenfu’. Sellers are not charged any additional fees. Please do not believe in false information about paying for activation invitations or internal channel activations to avoid any losses.
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From the perspective of WeChat installment product features, WeChat Fenqi is positioned as a consumer installment product. It relies on the WeChat payment platform to provide more options for consumers to pay in installments while making purchases.
According to official information, users who have the qualification for testing can choose ‘installment’ as a payment method when making payments. After the bill is generated, they can repay it in installments according to the selected installment period. The repayment options include 1 installment, 3 installments, 6 installments, and 12 installments. The installment handling fee is determined based on user qualifications and the chosen installment period using risk-based pricing.
In contrast, the biggest difference between WeChat Fenqi and WeChat Fenfu is the ability to actively set the repayment period. Currently, although WeChat Fenfu also provides installment payment services, it cannot be actively selected for installment payments. Installments can only be achieved by not fully repaying each month.
Considering that both products are currently in the testing phase and there is some degree of overlap in functionality, it is not ruled out that they may be integrated into the same service or differentiated into separate functions in the future.